An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Material resourcefulness

Garments are fusions of materials and energy brought to the body in myriad configurations, yet the dominant force in fashion, consumerism, tends to value only a narrow spectrum of fashion activity. The practices of material resourcefulness broaden this view and show a burgeoning testing ground of an alternative flows of fibre, fabric and product.


“The yarn for this jacket is from a house guest of mine, ‘Chester’ a chow dog. One day I was brushing him and his down hair was coming away, and I was thinking, this is a waste. So I got on the phone to my friend Valerie, a spinner, and I said, ‘do you do dog?’ ‘Of course!’ she said, ‘I can do anything!’ So the discussion went on, see, she explained to me how to collect and store the hair until I could get it to her. And then Valerie looked at it and saw that the staple was too short to spin on its own, so she blended it with Tussah silk. You don’t need a fancy pattern because the yarn is beautiful in its own right, furry down texture with glints of silk.”

Bollington, Cheshire - July 2009
Photograph by Fiona Bailey

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